Sudanese envoys to meet French, British ministers

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Sudanese envoys were set to meet with French and British ministers who wish to raise concerns over ongoing violence in Darfur.

PARIS – Special envoys from Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir, who is the subject of an international war crimes arrest warrant, were to meet French and British ministers in Paris on Tuesday, France said.

Senior Sudanese officials Nafie Ali Nafie and Othman Ismail are in Paris "at their own initiative" and will meet French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Britain's junior foreign minister Mark Malloch Brown, a spokesman said.

France and Britain will use the meeting to raise their concerns over the ongoing violence in Sudan's western region of Darfur and in particular the expulsion of international aid workers, Frederic Desagneaux said.

The subject of Beshir's arrest warrant may also come up, officials said.

On March 4, the International Criminal Court (ICC) made public an arrest warrant for the Sudanese leader, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, where the UN estimates 300,000 people have died.

"There are demands from the ICC that must be met," Desagneaux said. "Its arrest warrants must be put into action. We ask for Sudan's total and unambiguous cooperation with the ICC and UN Security Council."

For his part, Beshir was in Ethiopia on Tuesday for his sixth foreign trip since the arrest warrant was served, as he continues to thumb his nose at the court, which has called on world governments to detain him.

Desagneaux said that France and Britain work very closely together on the situation in Sudan, which was why Malloch Brown had been invited.

The Sudanese duo was expected to hold bilateral meetings with more French officials on Wednesday and they plan to hold a press conference in Paris on Thursday.

AFP / Expatica

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